Researching your audience is imperative to developing a successful, ‘needed’ product or service.
To create something people want and need, you first must find out what they want and need. After all, creating a product or service without that vital information is like getting into a car and saying, “Go!”
In the book Pain Killer Marketing, researchers Chris Stielhl and Henry DeVries found that one-on-one interviews can generate around 80% of all possible pain points for your target market. That’s some seriously helpful information!
Of course, you can’t just rock up to anyone in the street with a pen and paper. And you can’t just make it up as you go along. To get the right information, you must prepare the right questions.
An affinity diagram is a tool often used to organize data and ideas. Affinity diagrams help you organize information into groups of similar items to then analyze qualitative data or observations.
Business and design teams have used affinity diagrams for a long time to organize ideas, complex information and even customer feedback into themes or groups. For UX researchers, affinity diagrams are often used for analyzing and synthesizing user research findings by patterns and themes. In this case affinity diagrams are sometimes referred to as the KJ method or an affinity map. Also in other broad application like business brainstorming or idea generation it may be called a cluster map.
Create Company Wide Empathy with a User Research Repository
Creating insights to share and act on is the most important work you do as a UX or user research professional.
Your research must create a sense of empathy for the people you’re designing for with your team and company. This means your insights and findings must be clear, findable and actionable.
With rapidly changing expectations and methods for communication and sharing knowledge, it’s critical to start building a sustainable research practice right away that builds institutional knowledge of your customers.
Doing so generates better intuition and decision making, as well as wide spread empathy at your organization.
Investing in a user research repository to organize, search and share everything you learn from customer research early helps you accomplish these things and build true customer empathy in your organization.